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Major cities must unite against climate change: Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo

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Major cities must unite against climate change: Paris mayor (via AFP)

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo urged the world’s major cities to unite in the fight against climate change. Stressing that half the world’s population is now urbanized, she noted that cities are already responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions…

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First test of Virgin Orbit rocket fails to accomplish goal

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The first test launch of a rocket that is released from a jumbo jet at 35,000 feet and then propels itself into orbit to deploy a satellite failed on Monday, the Virgin Orbit company said.

"The mission terminated shortly into the flight. Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and returning to base," Virgin Orbit's Twitter account reported as the test was underway off the coast of California.

The plane released the rocket cleanly, but the latter developed trouble of unknown origin after igniting its first-stage engine, the company said.

Founded by British billionaire Richard Branson in 2012, Virgin Orbit wants to offer a quick and flexible launch service for operators of small satellites, weighing between 300 and 500 kilos (600 to 1,00 pounds), a market which is currently booming.

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Milestones of US human spaceflights

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Here are key milestones in the history of crewed US spaceflights, which resume on May 27 with the first transport of US astronauts to the International Space Station for nine years.

- First American in space -

On April 12, 1961, the United States is upstaged by the Soviet Union, when Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space, completing a 108-minute orbit aboard Vostok 1.

Less than a month later, on May 5, American Alan Shepard carries out a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury, launched in 1958 by the newly-created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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Rocketman (and woman): Elon and Gwynne, the pair who made SpaceX

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Space Exploration Technologies Corp. -- commonly known as SpaceX -- is slated to send two astronauts into space on Wednesday. Despite not yet being 20 years old, the company has already developed a creation myth: on September 28, 2008, its first rocket Falcon 1 launched for the fourth time.

"I messed up the first three launches, the first three launches failed. Fortunately the fourth launch -- that was the last money that we had -- the fourth launch worked, or that would have been it for SpaceX. But fate liked us that day," said Elon Musk, the company's founder and chief engineer, in 2017.

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